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Many persons are already aware, that for four years 
past a hospital has been maintained in Canton, in China, 
under the care of the Rev. Peter Parker, M. D. This 
gentleman had been sent to China as a Christian mis- 
sionary, by the American Board for Foreign Missions. 
Before he engaged in this holy work, he qualified him- 
self by a regular course of study to practice medicine 
and surgery, and was graduated a Doctor of Medicine, 
at Yale College. It seems to have occurred to him 
that, if he was to propagate Christianity among the 
heathen, it would be well to exhibit the excellence of 
that holy religion in practice. Dr. Parker was support- 
ed by those who sent him, and he sought no pecuniary 
reward for his labors ; but he had nothing else to give. 
The expenses of his hospital were defrayed by contri- 


butions from British and American gentlemen, resident 
in Canton. Strongly impressed by the benefit of his 
labors, these gentlemen formed a society in Canton, 
which they named the Medical Missionary Society, the 
object of which was, to maintain hospitals in Canton, 
and elsewhere in China. Under their auspices, besides 
the hospital in Canton, one has been opened in Macao, 
with every prospect of success. The late interruption 
of the foreign trade in China, has deprived these hospi- 
tals of the support which has heretofore been afforded 
to them. The question arises whether aid cannot be 
procured for them in this country and in Great Britain. 

Medical men in this country have read from time to 
time the reports of the benevolent labors, which have 
now been referred to, with great interest. Dr. Parker's 
success, in surgical practice especially, under circum- 
stances far from being favorable, has led them to regard 
him with great respect. Hence they were induced to 
receive him, on his recent visit to this country, with 
sincere cordiality, and to inquire if in any way they 
could promote the benevolent objects to which he had 
devoted himself. In this city a meeting of the Medical 
Association was called, so that all medical men here 
might have an opportunity of seeing him, during his 
short visit, and that they might hear from him some ac- 
count of his operations, and an explanation of his wishes. 

At the conclusion of this meeting, the Association re- 
solved to " invite the attention of men of property to 
the medical establishments in China, and earnestly to 
recommend that they should furnish such assistance as 
shall give a permanent maintenance to these establish- 
ments." The Association also appointed " a Committee 
to consult with any persons, who may take an interest 
in the subject of the medical establishments in China, and 
to take such measures as may seem to them expedient 
to obtain the aid required." This Committee consisted 
of Drs. Jackson, Warren, Shattuck, Hooper, and Bow- 

The Committee thus appointed, have believed that 
they could not better perform the duty assigned them, 
than by reprinting certain proceedings of the Medical 
Missionary Society in China, and the Address which 
accompanied the publication of the same in Canton. 
These will be found in the following pages. 

The Committee do not think that they can set forth 
the advantages of the plan, which has been adopted by 
this Society, in any better terms than those contained 
in the Address. They will therefore only beg all those, 
to whom this pamphlet is sent, to read the articles sub- 
joined, and to give to them the attention they deserve. 

It may be proper to add, that there is reason to hope 
that aid will be derived from the commercial cities in 
other parts of the Union for the benevolent object, 
which has been mentioned ; and that Dr. Parker has 
now gone to England, at the invitation of some of the 
British merchants recently at Canton, and that aid for 
the same object will probably be furnished by some of 
the opulent citizens of that country. 

By order of the Committee of the Boston Medical 

James Jackson, Chairman. 

Boston, April 23, 1841. 








At a public meeting, called by T. R. Colledge, Esq., the Rev. 
P. Parker, M. D., and the Rev. E. C. Bridgman (G. T. Lay, 

Esq., attending on the part of Mr. Colledge), which was held 
in the rooms of the General Chamber of Commerce, at Canton, 
on the 21st of February, 1838, it was — 

Proposed by the Rev. P. Parker, and seconded by R. Inglis, 
Esq., " That Mr. Jardine take the Chair." 

This being unanimously agreed to, the Chair was accordingly 
taken by W. Jardine, Esq., who stated, that the object for which 
the meeting had been called was, the organization of a Medical 
Missionary Society, in conformity with a plan which had been for 
some time in contemplation, and in reference to which certain sug- 
gestions had been published, about eighteen months previously, by 
the gentlemen by whom the meeting was called. 

The following Resolutions, relating to the organization of the 
contemplated Society, having been read consecutively, were then 
severally discussed and adopted. 




On the motion of G. Tradescant Lay, Esq., seconded by the 
Rev. E. C. Bridgman, 


I. " That, in order to give a wider extension, and a permanency, 
to the efforts that have already been made to spread the benefits of 
rational medicine and surgery among the Chinese, a Society be or- 
ganized at Canton, under the name of the Medical Missionary So- 
ciety in China : That the object of this Society be, to encourage 
gentlemen of the medical profession to come and practice gratui- 
tously among the Chinese, by affording the usual aid of hospitals, 
medicine and attendants : But that the support and remuneration 
of such medical gentlemen be not at present within its contem- 


On the motion of R. Inglis, Esq., seconded by J. Archer, Esq., 

II. " That the officers of this Society consist of a President, 
Vice-Presidents, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secre- 
tary, a Treasurer, and an Auditor of Accounts, — to be elected 
by ballot annually : That these officers collectively form a Com- 
mittee of Management, for performing the business of the Society : 
That, in the absence of the President, the duties of his office be 
performed by the senior Vice-President, that is, by the Vice-Pres- 
ident whose name shall stand first in order on the ballot list : That 
any vacancy occurring between the annual meetings be filled up 
by the committee : And that the Secretaries and Treasurer render 
every year a Report of the operations of the Society." 


On the motion of James Matheson, Esq., seconded by Captain 


IIL " That persons subscribing fifteen dollars annually be con- 


sidered members of the Society during the period of their subscrip- 
tion : That donors to the amount of one hundred dollars at one 
time be constituted members for life : And that donors of five hun- 
dred dollars at a time be constituted directors for life." 


On the motion of J. Robert Morrison, Esq., seconded by the 

Rev. P. Parker, 

IV. " That an annual meeting of the Society be held on the 
last Thursday of September, in each year, for the election of offi- 
cers and the transaction of general business : That the President 
be empowered to call a special meeting of the Society, at the re- 
quest of the committee of management, or on the application of 
five members : And that the committee regulate the times of its 
own meetings." 


On the motion of T. H. Layton, Esq., seconded by G. Trades- 
cant Lay, Esq., 

V. " That this association shall have a Library, to be called ' the 
Library of the Medical Missionary Society in China,' and to be 
under the control of the committee of management, by which do- 
nations of books, &c, may be accepted." 


On the motion of H. M. Clarke, Esq., seconded by R. Inglis, 


VI. " That this Society form a museum of natural and morbid 
anatomy, paintings of extraordinary diseases, he, to be called ' the 
Anatomical Museum of the Medical Missionary Society in China,' 
and to be under the control of the committee of management." 



On the motion of J. Archer, Esq., seconded by G. T. Lay, 


VII. " That all real estate or other property belonging to the 
Society be held on behalf of the same by a Board of Trustees, to 
consist of the President, the Treasurer, and the Auditor of Ac- 


On the motion of the Rev. E. C. Bridgman, seconded by G. T. 

Lay, Esq., 

VIII. " That candidates for the patronage of the society must 
furnish satisfactory certificates of their medical education, approved 
of by the society sending them out, — with testimonials from some 
religious body as to their piety, prudence, and correct moral and 
religious character." 


On the motion of Alexander Matheson, Esq., seconded by T. 

H. Layton, Esq., 

IX. " That this society will not assume the right to control any 
individual acting under its patronage, or to interfere with or modify 
the instructions he may have received from the society sending him 
out : That it will, however, expect a strict observance of any gen- 
eral regulations for the management of its institutions, and a dili- 
gent study of some one dialect of the Chinese tongue, on the part 
of those who receive its patronage: And that it will reserve to 
itself the right of withdrawing its patronage, at the discretion of the 
committee of management, from any individual who may, from non- 
compliance with its regulations, or from other causes, incur its dis- 



On the motion of G. T. Lay, Esq., seconded by the Rev. P. 


X. " That at each institution under the patronage of the society 
a book shall be kept, in which shall be inserted, in a fair and legible 
hand, an account of all important medical or surgical cases : And 
that, in order that this may not interfere with the other important 
duties of the physician or surgeon, any assistance necessary for 
keeping such a register shall be defrayed by the society." 


On the motion of E. Moller, Esq., seconded by G. T. Lay, 


XI. "That the committee of management be empowered to ap- 
point agents in Great Britain and America, to receive and transmit 
to them any sums that may be paid on behalf of this society." 

After these resolutions had been severally discussed and adopted, 
it was moved by Rorert Inglis, Esq., seconded by A. C. Mac- 
lean, Esq., and 

" That the members of this society are deeply impressed with a 
sense of the services which Mr. Colledge and Dr. Parker have 
rendered to humanity, by the gratuitous medical aid they have af- 
forded to the Chinese, which services have tended to originate this 
society : And that the members trust to the philanthropy and zeal 
of those gentlemen to carry the purposes of the society into effect, 
and to enable it to perpetuate the benefits which have been already 

It was then moved by James Matheson, Esq., seconded by R. 
Turner, Esq., and 



" That the thanks of this meeting be presented to T. R. Col- 
ledge, Esq., for the responsibility and trouble taken by him in pur- 
chasing and putting into repair a convenient and suitable building 
for a medical institution at Macao : That the said building be ac- 
cepted by this society, on the liberal terms of Mr. Colledge's offer : 
And that the Trustees be authorized to take the necessary steps for 
the transfer of the property." 

" That the meeting now proceed to the election of officers." 

The following officers were duly elected : President, T. R. Col- 
ledge, Esq.; Vice-Presidents, Rev. Peter Parker, M. D., W. 
Jardine, Esq., G. T. Lay, Esq., Rev. E. C. Bridgman ; Re- 
cording Secretary, A. Anderson, Esq. ; Corresponding Secreta- 
ry, C. W. King, Esq. ; Treasurer, Joseph Archer, Esq. ; Au- 
ditor of Accounts, J. C. Green, Esq.* 

The following officers form the Board of Trustees : Thomas 
Richardson Colledge, Esq., Joseph Archer, Esq., John 
Cleve Green, Esq. 

Thanks having been voted to the Chair, the meeting was then 

Minutes of a public meeting of the Medical Missionary Society in 
China, held in the rooms of the General Chamber of Commerce, 
on Tuesday, the 24th of April, 1838,— 

The Rev. Peter Parker, M. D., Vice-President, in the chair. 
The minutes of the general meeting held on the 21st of Febru- 

* In a meeting of the Committee of Management, hold on the 23d of February. 
some alterations were made in this list. R. Inglis and A. Anderson, Esqrs., wen 


ary last having been read, it was, — in reference to certain changes 
subsequently made by the committee of management in the list of 
officers — 

On the motion of Richard Turner, Esq., seconded by the Rev. 
E. C. Bridgman, 


" That the provisional changes made by the committee of man- 
agement in the list of officers of the Society, be confirmed by this 

The following resolution, passed by the committee of management 
on the 23d of February last, was read, viz : " That Mr. Colledge, 
Dr. Parker, and Mr. Bridgman, be requested to draw out a general 
statement of the objects and prospects of the Society, its regula- 
tions, and other particulars of its organization, for the purpose of 
publication, the same to be submitted for approval to a general 
meeting of the Society." The address that had been drawn up in 
accordance with this resolution was also read. It was then, 

On the motion of W. Jardine, Esq., seconded by J. C. Green, 


" That the address that has just been read be accepted, and that, 
agreeably to the resolution of the committee of management, it be 
printed, accompanied by the list of regulations, and other particulars 
of information regarding the state and prospects of the Society." 

On the motion of R. Inglis, Esq., seconded by J. Archer, Esq., 

" That this meeting, having heard that an application is to be 
made to the proprietor of the building now occupied as a hospital 
in Canton to repair and enlarge it, is of opinion, that Dr. Parker 

added to the number of the Vice-Presidents, and J. R. Morrison, Esq., was ap- 
pointed Recording Secretary in the room of Mr. Anderson. 


should, for the following reasons, be requested to avail himself of the 
time required for such repairs and alterations, to proceed to Macao, 
to open, and for three or four months to take charge of, the hospital 
there. — These reasons are, that there are now many cases in Ma- 
cao calling for early attention, whereas in Canton most of the cases 
of old standing have been relieved, — and that a great advantage 
will be experienced in the new institution being opened by a person 
acquainted with the language and habits of the Chinese, rather than 
by any one, a stranger to their language and habits, who may here- 
after arrive." 

On the motion of J. Archer, Esq., seconded by W. Bell, Esq., 


" That this Society views with pleasure the prospects of an early 
increase in the number of its medical cooperators in this country ; 
and that it trusts the hospitals, both in Canton and Macao, may en- 
joy, ere long, all needed superintendence, in the presence of at least 
two surgeons in each. 

On the motion of W. Jardine, Esq., seconded by J. C. Green, 



" That with a view of increasing the existing pecuniary means 
of the Society, the Secretary be empowered to call a general meet- 
ing, a few days subsequently to the publication of the pamphlet 
now about to be printed." 

The meeting then adjourned. 



President, — Thomas R. Colledge, Esq. 

Vice-Presidents . 

Rev. Peter Parker, M. D. 
William Jardine, Esq. 
Robert Inglis, Esq. 

Alexander Anderson, Esq. 
G. Tradescant Lay, Esq. 
Rev. E. C. Bridgman. 

Recording Secretary , — John Robert Morrison, Esq. 

Corresponding Secretary, — Charles William King, Esq. 

Treasurer, — Joseph Archer, Esq. 

Auditor of Accounts, — John C. Green, Esq. 


Thomas Richardson Colledge, Esq., Joseph Archer Esq. 

John Cleve Green, Esq. 

Lancelot Dent, Esq., I J. Matheson, Esq. 

Robert Inglis, Esq. Framjee Pestonjee, Esq. 

William Jardine, Esq. | J. C. Whiteman, Esq. 



A. Anderson, Esq. 
J. Archer, Esq. 
J. H. Astell, Esq. 
W. Bell, Esq. 
W. Blenkin, Esq. 
W. Carr, Esq. Calcutta. 
T. R. Colledge, Esq. 
J. Covert, Esq. 
F. M. Davidson, Esq. 
Wilkinson Dent, Esq. 
R. Diggles, Esq. Batavia. 
Captain C. Elliot, R. N. 
T. Fox, Esq. 

Hon. S. Garling. Malacca. 
Thomas Gemmell, Esq. 
O. H. Gordon, Esq. 
J. C. Green, Esq. 
J. Hamilton, Esq. (Deceased.) 
A. Hay, Esq. Singapore. 
Captain A Henderson. 
Captain J. Hine. H. C. S. 


A. R. Johnston, Esq. 

Andrew Johnston, Esq. 

A. S. Keating, Esq. (Deceased.) 

J. Innes, Esq. 

T. H. Layton, Esq. 

H. H. Lindsay, Esq. 

A. Matheson, Esq. 

J. R. Morrison, Esq. 

G. G. Nicol, Esq. 

D. W. C. Olyphant, Esq. 

W. R. Paterson, Esq. Glasgow. 

A. Robertson, Esq. 

Sir G. B. Robinson, Bart. 

John Slade, Esq. 

G. C. Schwabe, Esq. 

J. P. Sturgis, Esq. 

R. Turner, Esq. 


W. S. Wetmore, Esq. 
S. Wetmore, Jr. Esq. 
Henry Wright, Esq. 

C. Bovet, Esq. 

Mrs. Bovet. (Deceased.) 

Mrs. Colledge. 

Captain C. Elliot, R. N 


Edmund Moller, Esq. 
C. Fearon, Esq. 
Lady Herschell. 
Captain T. Smith, h. c. s. 

J. C. Ste-wart, Esq. 


Messrs. Hankky & Co., London. 

Messrs. Magniac, Smiths & Co., London. 

J. Thomson, F.s^., Royal Bank, Edinburgh. 

Messrs. James Ewing &, Co., Glasgow. 

Henry Hill, Esq., Boston. 

Messes. Talbot, Olyphant & Co., New York. 

Kir hard Axsop, Esq., Philadelphia. 

Messrs. W. Wilson &, Sons, Baltimore. 

M. St. Clair Clarke, Esq. Washington. 


In October, 1336, after mature deliberation, and en- 
couraged by many whose views were in accordance 
with our own, a few suggestions relative to the subject 
of providing medical aid for the Chinese were drawn 
up, and published. The hope then cherished has been 
realized; the first public act — the organization of a 
new institution — has been completed. And it is in 
compliance with a resolution of the committee of man- 
agement of this institution, that we have now once 
more the pleasure of explaining our object, and of in- 
viting the cooperation of all those who wish to mitigate 
the sufferings of their fellow-men. 

The object of this Society is, as stated in the reso- 
lutions passed at its formation, to encourage the prac- 
tice of Medicine among the Chinese, to extend to them 
some of those benefits, which science, patient investiga- 


tion, and the ever- kindling light of discovery, have con- 
ferred upon ourselves. 

In the midst of many improvements, and surrounded 
by numerous social advantages, the Chinese are never- 
theless deficient in medicine and surgery, and acknowl- 
edge this deficiency by their conduct, whenever they 
can avail themselves of the well-directed skill and the 
superior adroitness of foreigners. The love of ease 
and the hopes of health lead mankind to accept assist- 
ance, wherever they can find it, to forego their preju- 
dices, and sometimes to make large sacrifices, even up- 
on a very slender prospect of recovery. The Chinese, 
though exclusive in all their policy, form no exception 
to this rule, for they have come in crowds to the opthal- 
mic institutions, submitting to operations and medical 
treatment with unbounded confidence, and obtaining 
health and restoration, through the means of the physi- 
cian, with every mark of the most unfeigned respect 
and thankfulness. 

Our course, then, is clear, a road to usefulness is thus 
open before us, a great people stand in need of our as- 
sistance in this way, and are withal very glad to receive 
it. To restore health, to ease pain, or in any way to 
diminish the sum of human misery, forms an object 
worthy of the philanthropist. But in the prosecution 
of our views we look forward to far higher results than 
the mere relief of human Buffering. We hope that our 
endeavors will tend to break down the walls of preju- 


dice and long cherished nationality of feeling, and to 
teach the Chinese, that those whom they affect to de- 
spise are both able and willing to become their bene- 
factors. They shut the door against the teachers of 
the Gospel ; they find our books often written in idioms 
which they cannot readily understand ; and they have 
laid such restrictions upon commerce that it does not 
awaken amongst them that love of science, that spirit 
of invention, and that freedom of thought, which it uni- 
formly excites and fosters, whenever it is allowed to take 
its own course without limit or interference. In the 
way of doing them good, our opportunities are few, but 
among these, that of practising medicine and surgery 
stands preeminent. Favorable results have hitherto fol- 
lowed it, and will still continue to do so. It is a depart- 
ment of benevolence peculiarly adapted to China. Or- 
dinary modes of conveying information fail to attract 
the regard of the Chinese. Hence their groundless 
fears and suspicions of us continue unchanged. If a 
ray of light flash unexpectedly upon them, they view it, 
not as a pure beam from an uncorrupted source, but as 
an ignis fatuus calculated only to mislead. Could we 
dispel these fears, and make known to them the true 
character and desires of the civilized western nations, 
many are sanguine that a more friendly policy would be 
adopted towards us. And in the department of benev- 
olence to which our attention is now turned, purity and 
disinterestedness of motive are more clearly evinced 


than in any other. They appear unmasked ; they at- 
tract the gaze, and excite the admiration and gratitude, 
of thousands. 

" Heal the sick " is our motto, — ■ constituting alike 
the injunction under which we act, and the object at 
which we aim, and which, with the blessing of God, 
we hope to accomplish, by means of scientific practice, 
in the exercise of an unbought and untiring kindness. 
We have called ours a Missionary Society, because we 
trust it will advance the cause of missions, and be- 
cause we want men to fill our institutions, who to requi- 
site skill and experience add the self-denial and the high 
moral qualities which are usually looked for in a mis- 

For the Agents by whom we are to carry our object 
into execution, we must look to the Missionary Boards 
and Committees in Great Britain and the United States. 
They have it in their power to help us. and are best 
qualified to select men that arc fitted to execute our 
designs. We do not engage to support such individ- 
uals, and therefore shall leave them free to cherish all 
the better feelings of an honorable independence. We 
offer them hospitals, with every other necessary and 
suitable accommodation, and means of effecting <iood. 
In these hospitals we require for the patients the same 
uniform and well-considered attention, which are en- 
joyed in institutions of a similar kind at home. Men 
of eminent qualifications and tried character arc indis- 


pensable for the successful prosecution of the work. 
For after the Society has done all it can do, by way of 
preparation, its direct influence on the Chinese is to 
be exerted through the agents it employs : on them, 
therefore, the destinies of the Society are suspended. 
If they fail, it fails. Their success, is its success. They 
are to give effect to the wishes of the Society and its 
friends. Too much care cannot be bestowed on their 
selection. Both in character and in practice they should 
be every way good men. The constitution of the So- 
ciety has been framed so as to guard — as far as it is in 
its power to guard — this point. 

By the employment of such an agency the way will 
be paved to a higher place in the confidence and es- 
teem of the Chinese, which will tend to put our com- 
merce and all our intercourse with this nation upon a 
more desirable footing, and to open avenues for the in- 
troduction of those sciences and that religion, to which 
we owe our greatness, by which we are enabled to act 
a useful part in this life, and which fit us for the enjoy- 
ment of a better life hereafter. And it will not be de- 
nied, that these form desiderata of no ordinary interest 
and importance. 

There are other advantages, which, though they be 
of a subordinate kind, are not without their value. 
Among the first we would refer to the benefits, which 
are likely to result to medical science by cultivating it 
in China. Countries are not less characterized by the 


form and nature of the soil and its productions, than 
they are by the prevalence of certain maladies and a 
partial or complete exemption from others. The con- 
templation of disease as influenced by the position and 
height of a country, its inland or maritime location, and 
the general habits of the people, conducts the student 
to a most engaging range of medical philosophy, while 
it discloses many important lessons to assist him in the 
way of benefiting his fellow-creatures. The advan- 
tages derivable from such a contemplation have been 
acknowledged at all periods, and in all quarters. To 
secure these advantages, it is required, that a book 
should be kept in all the institutions connected with this 
Society, into which an entry will be made of all impor- 
tant cases, with a notice, not only of the disease and the 
treatment pursued, but also of the province, habits, and 
other circumstances bearing upon the history, of each 
individual. Such books will in time be curious and in- 
structive documents, and such as will enable us to glance 
at the penetralia of domestic and social life in China, 
which we now can only read of, or view at a distance, 
from the very outskirts of the country. 

It will not require much illustration to show, in the 
second place, that information will be obtained in this 
way of the highest value to the missionary and the man 
of commercial enterprise. The general state of feeling 
in this vast and thickly populated country, the partiali- 
ties and prejudices of the people, can only be seen by 
us through a very questionable and imperfect medium. 


The wants and resources of a territory so diversified 
and extensive are only known to us by reports, which 
are not always consistent with each other. But by such 
an intercourse with the people, as these institutions will 
afford, the truth will be learned in some measure, and 
answers to many questions, which we are now interested 
to ask, will be obtained ; for a sick man will often deal 
frankly with his physician, however he may be disposed 
to conceal facts, or garble his statements with any other 

Another advantage will be the education of young 
Chinese in those branches of science that belong to 
medicine. Facts show that Chinese parents are not 
altogether blind to the desirableness of placing their 
sons in our hospitals, as three are already under tuition 
in the institution at Canton. Young men thus instruct- 
ed will gradually be dispersed over the empire, travel- 
ling for pleasure, honor, or reward, and will dispense 
the benefits of a systematic acquaintance with the sub- 
ject wherever they go. The success of their measures 
will render them respectable, and of course will redound 
to the credit of those also from whom they have learned 
the art. Their patients will not only hear, but feel that 
the people from the West are good men. The effect of 
such influences will be silent, but powerful, for there is 
something irresistibly impressive in a benevolent action, 
especially when it appears to be exempt from the impu- 
tation of interested motives. 


The Society recommends the study of the Chinese 
language, because to question a patient through an in- 
terpreter is a circuitous and often a very doubtful pro- 
cess. A knowledge of the language will open another 
door of inquiry, namely, in relation to the substances 
used in Chinese Pharmacy, and to their peculiar modes 
of preparation. As the reciprocations of health and 
sickness are various in different countries, so Providence 
has displayed a corresponding variety in the distribution 
of remedies. This correspondence between the pre- 
vailing disorders of any country and the remedies which 
the hand of nature has provided, is often very striking, 
and will become more so as the subject is investigated. 
We may therefore look for a great many valuable addi- 
tions to our dispensatories, while an extended acquaint- 
ance with disease under new modifications will help to 
enlarge and complete our system of nosology. With 
a small stock of Chinese phrases, great immediate good 
may be effected, but to accomplish extensive and per- 
manent good, an acquaintance with their language, and 
with their treatises on the theory and practice of medi- 
cine, as prevailing in the country, is indispensable. 
This is requisite, also, to enable one to write works by 
which their erroneous .systems nvay be revolutionized. 
A man's usefulness will be in proportion, ceteris pari- 
bus, to his knowledge of the language. If knowledge 
be indeed power, then is that of the language of China 
on the part of those who would benefit the Chinese em- 
phatically so. 


We have alluded to the revolutionizing of the erro- 
neous systems of the Chinese. But little argument is 
needed to prove the urgent importance of effecting 
such a revolution. A few facts will suffice to show it. 
Authors of medical treatises, enjoying a high reputa- 
tion and imperial patronage, are found to extol the 
efficacy of many secret remedies and vaunted specifics. 
And all, or almost all, adopt the common vagaries 
concerning the pulse — their infallible key to every 
ailment, and concerning the influence of the elements in 
causing and affecting disease. Persons in the highest 
ranks of society believe in astrology, and consult the 
almanac in order to select an auspicious day for apply- 
ing to a physician, though that day may not come till 
their disease has advanced beyond the control of human 
skill. The Chinese admit their ignorance of medical 
science, especially of surgery and anatomy. An amus- 
ing and ridiculous compound of astrological dogmas 
and dissertations on the influence of the elements, like 
the " Ethers and Elements " of Heraclitus, takes the 
place of the well-established principles of physiology 
and chemistry now received in the West. As yet we 
are not aware that any correct knowledge regarding 
the circulation of the blood obtains in China. Obser- 
vation, however, has taught them, that the frequency 
and force of the pulse are not the same in sickness and 
in health. Deducing from this circumstance unfounded 
notions on the subject of pulsation, a Chinese practition- 


er, on observing the character of the pulse in the last 
stages of disease, will hazard a prognosis of the number 
of hours the patient may have to live. In the indefinite 
use of the word gg by the Chinese, and of 9^<4 by 
Pythagoras, we observe a remarkable coincidence. By 
both the same term is often employed to designate veins, 
arteries, nerves, and tendons. 

It has been sometimes objected, that to attend to the 
diseases of men is not the proper business of a mission- 
ary. This objection may be shortly answered by a 
reference to the conduct of the Savior and his apostles, 
who, while they taught mankind things that concerned 
their eternal interests, were not indifferent to their bodily 
sufferings. What He was pleased to do by his Divine 
power, and what they did by miraculous endowments, 
no one can in these days pretend to effect. But we are 
commanded and encouraged to imitate them, by the 
use of such means as knowledge and the exercise of a 
genuine charity will furnish. The importance of edu- 
cation has long been admitted, and none regard its 
requisite expense as a perversion of sacred funds, — not 
that education can make the pagan a Christian, but be- 
cause it is one of the best auxiliaries. Neither has it 
been considered a misapplication of money, or of the 
missionary's talent, to employ science as an instrument 
wherewith to sweep away the foundations of idolatrous 
systems, — not that science can convert a heathen, but 
that, by demonstrating to him the falsity of his religion, 


it may prepare the way for him to seek the truth. A 
similar rank and equal consideration are what we ask for 
the healing science and practice. 

A peculiarity of the Medical Missionary Society in 
China is, that it addresses itself to the consideration of 
all. The man of science and the philanthropist, who 
look especially to immediate benefits, are here interest- 
ed. And to the sympathies of those who, while they 
equally appreciate the desirableness of contributing in 
every feasible manner to the welfare of their species for 
time, contemplate with unspeakably more solicitude 
those interests which are eternal, it presents an irresist- 
ible — an overwhelming — claim. When we reflect 
upon the present state of surgery and medicine in China, 
the suffering that is experienced, the lives annually and 
needlessly lost, and advert to the time when similar ig- 
norance was the misfortune of the nations of Europe ; 
and when we consider the rational basis upon which 
science is now established, and our facilities for impart- 
ing it to others ; the obligation upon enlightened na- 
tions becomes imperative, to improve the opportunity 
afforded, of imparting to others the incalculable benefits 
received from the application of chemistry and natural 
and inductive philosophy to the subject of health, in the 
investigation of the causes and phenomena of disease 
and the means of controlling it. 

The world is a whole : and as the human race ap- 
proximates to the perfection which it is destined to 


reach, the principle of union and fellow-feeling will be- 
come more and more influential. A Bacon, a Newton, 
or a Franklin, is not to be monopolized. Such men 
belong not merely to the nation that gave them birth, 
but to the whole world. They were doubtless designed 
by Providence, to be blessings not merely to a single 
age or country, but to all successive ages, and to every 
land. Upon those who first enjoyed the boon, rests the 
obligation to extend universally their principles, which 
have revolutionized the philosophy and science of 
Europe, and which, whenever permitted free ingress, 
will produce similar results in China. Surely no accu- 
mulation of arguments is required to prove a case so 
clear. If the principle is admitted that our race is one, 
then the remoteness of the empire for which we plead 
cannot neutralize the obligation. 

To facilitate cooperation in the observance of this 
obligation, agents are appointed in the principal cities 
of England and America. About $9,000 have been 
contributed in China and its vicinity within the last two 
years to this cause, but whilst friends here encourage 
the expectation of a continuance of their aid, the Society 
must look to the affluent of happier lands for its principal 

When we survey the vastness of the field, the good 
to be effected, and when, reflecting upon the immense 
resources of the western hemisphere, we compare these 
with the small portion of wealth required to secure the 


desired object, we are confident that benevolence — 
disinterested like its author, and as expansive as the woes 
of man are extensive, will not withhold the means. A 
rare opportunity is here afforded to the philanthropist of 
doing good — of enjoying the felicity of imparting to 
others, without diminution to himself, some of his rich- 
est blessings. He is invited to unite in accomplishing a 
great, immediate, and positive good, — is encouraged 
by the hope of immediate success, to aid in uniting to 
the great family of nations this long severed and seclu- 
ded branch, and in introducing among this people not 
only the healing art, but in its train the sciences, and all 
the blessings of Christianity. To the various missionary 
Boards whose cooperation is sought, we would respect- 
fully say, imitate Him whose gospel you desire to pub- 
lish to every land. Like Him, regard not as beneath 
your notice the opening the eyes of the blind and the 
ears of the deaf, and the healing all manner of diseases. 
Until permitted to publish openly and without restraint 
the truths of the gospel, neglect not the opportunity 
afforded of freely practising its spirit. Scatter to the 
utmost its fruits, until welcomed to plant the tree that 
produces them — the " tree of life." 

(Signed) T. R. Colledge. 

Peter Parker. 

E. C. Bridgman. 
China, April 14, 1838.